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The Covid-19 crisis and food security

India’s national lockdown in 2020, imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19, threw millions of people out of work and sharply reduced earnings for those who remained employed. Based on data from mu...

  • Perspectives

Covid-19: Impact on income inequality in India

Even as global inequality was falling, income inequality in India increased during 1990-2019. With the occurrence of Covid-19, the trend of increasing income inequality in the country is expected to n...

  • Articles

PDS, National Food Security Act, and Covid-19

Introduced in 2013, the National Food Security Act (NFSA) brought about fundamental reforms in the public distribution system (PDS) and most importantly, declared a legal ‘right to food’. Based on...

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Energy access for marginalised communities: Evidence from rural India

While overall energy access of Indian households has improved rapidly over the past decade, access to clean fuel is still low as compared to electricity. Besides, social structures and hierarchies con...

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Covid-19: How well are government schemes supporting Bihar’s vulnerable populations?

The immediate adverse impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown was visibly greater for migrant workers and their households, whose ability to access government schemes in their villages...

  • Notes from the Field

DUET re-examined

In September 2020, Jean Drèze’s proposal for an urban work programme called DUET (Decentralised Urban Employment and Training) was presented on I4I. This was followed by an extensive symposium in w...

  • Perspectives

In-kind transfers as insurance

Academics and policymakers worldwide are leading the push towards unconditional cash as the preferred mode of transfer from the government to the poor. Yet surveys across countries find that large pro...

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Did MNREGA cushion job losses during the pandemic?

The 2021-22 Budget allocation for MNREGA is 34% lower than the revised estimates for the programme in 2020-21. Analysing official MNREGA data, this article suggests that districts that have historical...

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How wide is the ‘sink of localism’ in India?

While spatial segregation based on caste or religion is a constitutive feature of social life in India, there have been very few systematic studies of it. This article presents central findings from t...

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Declining common lands in India: Role of economic inequality

The area under common pool land resources (CPLRs), which are crucial to rural livelihoods in India, has recorded a steady decline over the last three decades. Common land is diverted either as private...

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Welfare through workfare? Lessons from the early days of MNREGA

Workfare programmes are an old tool to provide necessary income support to the poorest in times of recessions, droughts, and now pandemics. Yet, these are often questioned for their effectiveness. As ...

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Building resilience among ultra-poor for times of crisis

Lack of integration into the existing social protection system exacerbates the poor's vulnerabilities, leaving them without adequate support structures during a crisis. In this note, Shagun Sabarwal a...

  • Notes from the Field

Does workfare work? MNREGA during Covid-19

In the wake of the large-scale return of migrant workers from cities to rural areas on account of the Covid-19 lockdowns and associated job losses, it was apparent that MNREGA would need to play a cru...

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What pay ratios in NIFTY50 companies tell us about income inequality in India

In the wake of the economic crisis triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, demands for relief from the corporate sector were as vocal as those for affected workers. However, the s...

  • Perspectives

Balancing corruption and exclusion: Comment on the response

The role of Aadhaar in reducing corruption in the PDS has been highly controversial. In a recent I4I article, Muralidharan et al. summarised the insights of their study of Aadhaar-based biometric auth...

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Recent Contributors

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Sisir Debnath

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

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Abyaleek Chaudhuri

Indian Institute of Technology Delhi

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Santanu Mishra

Smile Foundation

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Achyuta Adhvaryu

University of Michigan

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Anant Nyshadham

University of Michigan

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Most Popular Poverty & Inequality Posts

Covid-19: What can be done immediately to help vulnerable population

With over 80% of India’s workforce employed in the informal sector and one-third working as casual labour, Covid-19's spread and subsequent unplanned lockdowns, have created economic havoc in the li...

  • Perspectives

Lockdown, life, and livelihood in the times of Corona

After around 36 hours of the lockdown to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in India, the Finance Minister announced a slew of welfare measures amounting to Rs. 1.7 trillion to support the vulnerable popu...

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EWS reservation in higher education: Affirmative action or vote bank politics?

The Constitution (103rd Amendment) Act, 2019, provides for 10% reservation for the economically weaker sections (EWS) in higher educational institutions within the general category. In this post, Devi...

  • Perspectives